#teamnorge consisted of:
- Madeleine Hylland
- Melanie Moore
- Chloe Kalvø
- Irene Fossen
Filip Madaric (National Coach)
We were placed in a strong group B along with Switzerland, Poland and Ukraine, knowing that we are the underdogs and that any win would be hard earned.
First day of matches on Wednesday saw us take on Switzerland at 1pm and Poland at 6:30pm. These were our two toughest opponents so our main goal was to align a good tactical idea for each match and see where we end up. Both Madeleine and Chloe struggled on a cold court, with lack of depth in hitting, a tough challenge for anyone considering our opponents. Both lost 0:3 but took away important learning experience as we were able to adjust the tactics for later on. Melanie played vs Switzerland and put up a good fight, but it wasn´t to be against a very strong swiss #2, eventually losing 0:3. Irene played her first ever match for #teamnorge against Poland and showed a very composed and focused performance, eventually losing out 0:3.
Day 2, Thursday, had us playing against Ukraine at 7:30pm as a last match of the event and our last group stage match. We were aware that Ukraine didn´t have their strongest team this year but still showed up, considering their life situations at this moment, and performed quite well.
Our focus was on each match, with Chloe going on court first, a very tough opponent, tall and plenty of power to apply pressure in all areas of the court. Chloe had a gameplan and looked sharp and focused in the second and third game. But in the end, it was Ukraine that took the first win 3:1. Madeleine was on next, feeling and playing better than on day one, unfortunately loses the first game, but recovers, takes the second in a tie break and the third in another close encounter. Highly focused, Madeleine takes the fourth game and match to record Norways first single match win in division 2 this year!
Melanie was on next, with an overall tie at 1-1, Melanie knew what she had to do, focused, experienced squash and Mel takes the match in brilliant fashion, 3:1. And Norway has recorded a second single match win, and a first ever team win in div2.
Going into day 3, Friday, we finished 3rd in our group, which means we played 5-8 playoff matches, 2 more to go, with bottom two being relegated to div3. Our first match was scheduled vs Ireland on Friday 10:00am. After evaluating our opponents all week, we found chinks in their armour and realized we have a chance to make history and record a second team win.
Team lineup was: Madeleine, Chloe and Irene with Mel as the fierce support outside of the courts. Chloe played first, after a bit of a shaky start and quick first two games, she found her tactics and range of shots. A great attitude in the third game got her back to 1:2. With a lead in the fourth game and really good tactical decision Chloe was only a point away from a fifth game, but it wasn´t to be, her opponent managing to squeeze through and put Ireland ahead 1:0.
Madeleine was on next, with #teamnorge´s faith in her hands, Maddie pulled through the most impressive battle of the nerves we have all witnessed. 0:2 down, multiple matchballs down in the fifth and an impressive array of winners got her, and team Norway through this match, a 12:10 win in the fifth. A team tie standing at 1-1 and all to play for.
Match against Ireland was the biggest match Norway had at this event as it proved to be a decider for us to stay in division 2.
Irene was on last, and what a performance that was for a rookie player! 11:3, 12:10, 12:10. A show of persistence, tactical mastery and steel nerves, Irene scored a win that this team will remember for a long time!
With this win, Team Norway qualifies for division 2 in 2023 and history is made. This team has outperformed when it mattered most.
Match against Austria on Saturday morning was a celebratory game for the ladies, with Melanie, Chloe and Irene taking the court and Madeleine taking a deserved rest that day. Irene once again showed brilliance and outperformed an impressive Austrian opponent with a 3:0 victory.
We recorded 6th position in the final standings, womens best place in Norway´s squash history.
We would like to say congratulations Ladies for an impressive week of squash and teamwork. We are grateful and honored to be able to share these moments with you and look forward to the future of squash in Norway.
Congratulations to Madeleine Hylland, Melanie Moore, Chloe Kalvø and Irene Fossen.
Congratulations to the personal coaches for putting in the work and keeping you on track to performing well all the time.